Folio News Story
May 27, 2005

Alumni honoured in Sports Wall of Fame ceremonies

U of A Olympians, sports administrators recognized for their contributions to sport

by Scott Lingley
Folio Staff
[Dr. Rod Fraser and award-winner Irwin Strifler at the 20th annual Sports Wall of Fame dinner.
[Dr. Rod Fraser and award-winner Irwin Strifler at
the 20th annual Sports Wall of Fame dinner.

Olympians Megan Delehanty and Ian Newhouse, and sports administrators George Hughes and Irwin Strifler have added their names to the list of distinguished University of Alberta alumni who have made significant contributions to varsity, community, national and international sport.

"The honours and accolades bestowed upon us are in one sense humbling, and yet create an enormous sense of pride," Stifler said on behalf of his fellow inductees at the 20th annual Sports Wall of Fame dinner at the Shaw Conference Centre on May 12.

"We are becoming part of history for playing the sport we love. We thank the University of Alberta for providing the competitive experience, as well as the greatest gift of all, the inspiration and the ability to learn."

Megan Delehanty was honoured for her achievements in competitive rowing, which she became involved in as a student at the U of A, (she completed her B.Sc. in 1990). After continuing her successes as a rower at the University of British Columbia, Delehanty won a spot on the Canadian National Rowing Team, which earned gold medals in the world's most prestigious regattas, including the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Recently Delehanty completed her PhD at the University of Pittsburgh.

George Hughes, who joined the U of A Golden Bears hockey program in 1945 as equipment team manager, has earned many accolades for his hand in building sports programs and facilities in the city and the province. As chief commissioner of public affairs for the city of Edmonton, he oversaw the development of eight community arenas, as well as the Northlands Coliseum, now named Rexall Place. He is a member of Edmonton's Sports Hall of Fame, Hockey Alberta's Hall of Fame, and a winner of the U of A Distinguished Professional Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Ian Newhouse established university, national and world records during his career as a member of the Golden Bears track and field team from 1978 - 1982. He also won the prestigious Dr. Fred Tees Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding track and field athlete at a Canadian university, as well as completing his bachelor's degree in physical education and his M.Sc. In addition to participating in the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games as a member of the Canadian National Team, Newhouse set records at numerous national and international sporting events. More recently, Newhouse won the gold and silver medals for the 800m and 400m sprints respectively in the 40-45 year age group at the 1997 US Masters Games. As a member of faculty at Lakehead University, Newhouse founded their cross-country/track and field program and served as head coach until 1999.

Following a brief but successful career in American college football and a stint with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Footbal League, former Golden Bear Irwin Strifler opted for a career as a teacher coach, and administrator, assuming the role of director of athletics for the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in 1968. Over the next 30 years, Strifler was the architect of one of Canada's most respected college athletic and intramural programs, in which teams and individual athletes from NAIT won 157 Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference (ACAC) gold medals, 12 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) national team championships and 17 individual gold medals. Strifler also served in various administrative capacities with the ACAC and the CCAA, as well as coaching minor league hockey and volunteering at the 1978 Commonwealth Games and the 1983 Universiade Games. He retired from NAIT in 1998 and was named to their Wall of Fame in 2003.

Strifler cited the role of varsity athletics and the U of A in preparing this year's inductees for the careers they enjoyed.

"We learned the true meaning of loyalty and sacrifice," Strifler said. "We also learned that perfection is unattainable, but excellence is possible; that lessons learned in athletics will be remembered long after scores are forgotten; and don't make today's losses the enemy of tomorrow's victories; and one that Ian Newhouse liked: 'You are your own best coach - put your own destiny in your own hands.'"

With the addition of this year's inductees, the Sports Wall of Fame now includes 99 U of A alumni who have made outstanding contributions in the field of athletics and to their communities.